Will They Buy Me A Frock As Well?…dancing with the NHS

Many years ago Morag met a couple who had been happily married for almost 50 years. When I asked the secret to them being more in love at the end than the beginning of their union, they said in unison “Very simple, we dance every morning”.

It turns out that this couple, no matter what their schedule, always made time for a quick turn around the kitchen before beginning their day. He would take her hand (regular contact), look into her eyes (romance), they would sing a song (shared activity) and off they would go. Awwww…..and yes it certainly did seem to work.

If you dissected what they were doing, as I just have, the formula does make sense. Apply this to the new government initiative to get people dancing as a way to get them healthy and ‘duh’ yes it will work. Get up off your backside and get out dancing and you’ll be more healthy. However should we be paying for it? HELL NO!!!!

I am the first person to say that the NHS does need to spend money on educating people. Education will always save you money in the long run, whatever the topic. ‘The more they know the less you’ll have to blow’ should be the NHS mantra – but this new initiative is just taking the Michael.

When I first moved here years ago and heard the term ‘nanny-state’ to tell the truth I found it quaint and quite cuddly. However I soon realised that it wasn’t nanny like Mary Poppins but more nanny like Ruby Wax in a pinafore…someone badgering you and annoying you to the extent that you finally throw your arms up in the air and go along with what they’re saying just to shut them up. Cardinal Rule to helping people ………. ‘Show them how to do it, don’t do it for them. If you do it for them they will never learn how to do it for themselves’.

Dancing lessons…….what next personal trainers? Oooops – yes actually they’ve mentioned that as well, for the ‘seriously challenged amongst us’. Listen I want to learn to salsa as much as the next person but this is just nonsense. I want the NHS to hold on to the money for the dancing lessons so that later on when I need my hip replacement (that I’ll need from all the dancing and other nefarious activity I now indulge in at my own behest) they’ll be able to help me out. I can dance on my own thank you, help me when I need to walk.



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7 responses to “Will They Buy Me A Frock As Well?…dancing with the NHS

  1. The Observer

    Don’t get me going on this one!

    On 8th November my OH had a pretty nasty operation in a Centre of Excellence in Lancashire.

    As the description suggests, it was a truly excellent hospital with cheery staff who had a smile for everyone and just made the day and the patient experience that bit nicer.

    On Friday night my OH was taken ill and on Saturday I took him the local A&E hospital. There the adventure began!

    When we arrived there he was in pretty bad shape, with excruciating pain between his lungs and his ribs on the left-hand side of his body.

    After the Triage Nurse had spoken to him, she thought (and so did we) that he had a Pulmonary Embolism. She pretty quickly got him onto a trolley and into a little cubby hole with a curtain around it, so that he could have an ECG while all the designated treatment areas were occupied.

    When he was moved into the treatment area he was assessed by a Sister, who went off to get him some pain relief.

    Sadly, she was so run off her feet that she hadn’t returned after about 30 minutes, so I went off in search of her. I found a nurse and explained the situation. She said she would come to the cubicle but didn’t arrive. I can only surmise that she went to find the Sister instead.

    After about another 15 minutes the Sister arrived saying, ‘A thousand apologies, it slipped my mind’.

    Some time later he was seen by a doctor, a lovely young Indian girl, who was dropping on her feet. She’d been on duty since 9am and by at this point we were approaching 6pm. She told us she still had two and a half hours to go. At that point, she appeared to be the only doctor in the department.

    All the necessary medical routines were carried out and at 7:30pm, some 5 hours later he was admitted to the Emergency Management Unit with a suspected Pulmonary Embolism.

    He was confined to bed, only nobody told him. We only found out when he needed the loo.

    He’s not one of the world’s complainers and waited for the loo as long as he could. When he could hardly wait any longer I went in search of a nurse (none had been at the nursing station at that point (approximately an hour), they were all rushing around.

    I saw one who was in a bay doing ‘Obs’, and there was another lady in uniform, with a trolley full of drinks but she was busy talking to her off-duty mate!

    When I’d stood on her shoulder for a minute or so, she turned and looked at me. When I asked where I might find a nurse and explained the situation she said, ‘I’ll come now’.

    Call me fickle but to me ‘now’ means *now* but I obviously don’t speak NHS. I returned to the entrance of the bay and waited. It was only when she turned and saw me glaring at her that she said to her friend. ‘I’ll have to go, I need to see to *him*’.

    It was through Mrs Chatterbox that we found out that my OH had been confined to bed.

    When I left the hospital at about 8:45 he hadn’t even been given a jug of water. It’s a good job I had a tray of bottled water in the boot of my car and had taken some in.

    When I rang him at about 10:00pm his voice was weak and he said he was in a lot of pain. He had been offered no pain relief since the Sister had brought him some at about 4:30pm. Not one person had been to see that he was OK.

    The following day he was transferred to a day ward because it was near to where he would be having a scan on Monday (they don’t do scans at the weekends). He counted drug addicts among his ‘friends’ in there.

    My understanding of drug addicts is that they can be unpredictable and aggressive under certain conditions. Was this the right environment for someone with a suspected PE who’d been admitted on bed rest? I don’t think so!

    The day ward was extremely gloomy, being off a badly lit area. It looked more like a warehouse. It had no communal radio or television, let alone the gismo we had bought the card for the previous evening. Oh, and they didn’t have chairs for visitors or towels for the patients. Almost forgot that bit!

    Worst 0f all was that it had no proper facilities for someone who was encased in plaster up to the knee to get properly clean in, let alone anyone to help him. He had to make do with the bowl in the Gent’s loo, which did contain a shower but he was unable to use it.

    I received a call at 10am today to say that the scan results were clear and that my OH had a ‘torn muscle’, although he doesn’t have the remotest idea how that might have happened. He had to wait for his medication and then was free to leave.

    On hearing that, I was bundled out of work by my colleagues, who agreed to cover everything I needed to do and off I went to collect him.

    Problem! When I arrived at about 10:30am he was nowhere to be seen. He’d been moved to the Discharge Lounge.

    No problem, I knew where that was. Oh no, I didn’t (Panto season, doncha know?). It had recently been moved to another building and even some of the nurses didn’t know where it was!

    I eventually found the building and to my astonishment found myself being directed through bays where patients were lying in their beds. How on earth were these poor people expected to get some rest with people like me clod-hopping through their ward?

    When I found my OH he was still waiting for his medication. I was told that I could take him home if I went back for the meds, which I agreed to do. One lady awaiting discharge said ‘Oh, you could wait until midnight for them’.

    We arrived home at about 11:30, he had his first proper wash for three days and is now having his first proper sleep since last Thursday evening.

    Just had a call, after five and a half hours to say that his medication is available. Oh, goody. Good job I brought him home when I did and that he’s managing to sleep. He could have been still sitting in the Discharge Lounge!

    How on earth have NHS workers been allowed to become so run into the ground and demotivated?

    Conga, Mr Blair?


  2. The Observer

    Sorry, I should have added to my long rant that the hospital concerned has recently announced the redundancy of 300 staff and 180 beds, having told me this morning that the place was on ‘Red Alert’ (not a single bed to be had)!

  3. That is one of the most awful stories I have heard in a long time. It makes me sad. It also frightens the bejesus out of me. Bad enough you are worried about your health – do you need to worry about your safety as well? I know we can say that all’s well that ends well but surely we shouldn’t have to live like this? Maybe it is actually a perverse plot by the NHS to get us staying healthy at all costs just to avoid going to hospital. If the germs don’t kill you then the disinterested staff might. If they don’t get you then the drug addicts might. I despair. Glad to hear that Mr. Observer is on the mend please give him my best.

  4. The Observer

    To be scrupulously fair, my OH tells me that the nurses he had contact with couldn’t have done more, they were just w0rked extremely hard. He knew nothing of ‘Weeweegate’, he was in pretty poor shape at that point.

    Each morning they went into the Day Ward and apologised to the people in there for the conditions they were experiencing.

    They did the best they could.

    He also tells me that there were towels available but he’d been told they were in ‘short supply’.

  5. David

    If you are ill the very last place you want to be is in hospital sometimes.

    From time to time i suffer from kidney stones and about every 4-5 years end up staying at her goverments pleasure on some care ward with tubes in my arm and up where tubes should never ever be put.

    But the worst thing has always been the nights, of course they cannot turn the lights out because that would upset some of the mentally unstable patients, and those that get up during the night with altsimers and start attacking other patients becaus ethey have broken ito thier homes. Sometimes a nurse will be “kind” and hide their walking frames or crutches which does keep them from wandering but then you end up with puddles on the floor. Obviously things are a little quieter when you have 2 policemen garding a patient because they are either from prison or soon to be going that way, yes sometimes there are fights and assaults , but for the momst part i just get iritated that they dont turn the lights out – would make it so much easier to get to sleep. At least there is always entertainment to see what random pills you will get each morning , usually they are roughly the same size and shape – nd if you can find one of those multiple choice meal menu cards for the next day great – one actually might get to eat – obviously not though if you happen to be having an xray when the trolly comes round – but then there is always tomorrow. Hopefully.

  6. David

    And one final word on NHS staff – one of my oldest friends was supported through her degree course, masters and doctorate by the NHS and she did go to work for them on leaving – keen to make things better for mankind, within about 2 years of having to fill in a never ending pile of forms, of having to defend herself agains numerious allogations of mistreatment, having to provide her own stationary and office supplies and having to work 14 hour days shes decided to go private, she can get paide more, work less and actually make a difference – all be it to people that are prepared to AND able to pay.

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